Am I the Only Girl Who Hates Wearing Skinny Jeans?

Skinny jeans are my wardrobe Everest, my fashion nemesis and my daily style kryptonite. We all have a thing that we'd describe as just not me, but why does my particular pain point have to be the very linchpin of almost every other closet across the globe? Skinny jeans have become an entirely trusted part of any girl's repetoire—they are, according to everyone everywhere, one of the most versatile, easy-to-throw-on things to wear. But are they? Really?

Ever since the super-skinny drainpipe jeans found their way from the '80s and back into the regular lineup of fashion choices for a trend-seeking girl in the mid-noughties, my mistrust and hatred toward the sausage-skin denim prison haven't wavered. Oh, I've tried black denim, high-waisted jeans, different hemlines, cut-off hemlines, hundreds of designer brands, skinny jeans that have been specifically tailored to my legs, side-zips, no-zips, stretch, no stretch… Every possible iteration of skinny jeans has been exhausted, and no person could doubt my efforts, but my legs—and my look—just won't have it. 

Maybe it's because I'm petite and (admittedly) chunky-of-thigh. It could be down to the fact that I veer more towards the '60s and '70s than any other decade—and we all know skinny jeans were not a key part of the style lexicon then. Some of my friends may argue that I consider skinny jeans to be too "mainstream" and have therefore rejected them out of some sort of sartorial spite—I'm more convinced it's that feeling of suffocation and having nowhere to hide… Either way, I'm sure I'm not alone and the good news is that denim brands, designers and the high street now cater to more varied jeans tastes: There are SO many other options on offer.

So if you're of the skinny jeans–loathing variety, I bring you my best alternatives. Keep reading to see the denim styles you'll love—even if you do love your skinnies to death…

Skinny-Jean Alternative #1: Cropped Flares


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Style Notes: Perhaps one of my favourite options, the cropped flare is a surprisingly flattering silhouette that still continues to look directional and different.

Shop Our Cropped-Flare Pick:

2. Skinny-Jean Alternative #2: Boyfriend


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Style Notes: An oldie but a goodie, a pair of hip-hugging boyfriend jeans can be just as good during downtime on the weekends as they can be for dressing up with a fancy top and heels.

Shop Our Boyfriend-Jean Pick:

Skinny-Jean Alternative #3: Flares


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Style Notes: Nothing is more leg-lengthening or quite so elegant (in denim terms, at least) as a pair of indigo or dark-wash, super-sleek flares. We love the idea of wearing a pair with heels and a plain Breton tee, such as this one.

Shop Our Flares Pick:

Skinny-Jean Alternative #4: Straight Crops


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Style Notes: Not quite a short flare, not quite a boyfriend, not quite a traditional straight-leg jean… This inbetweener actually looks smarter than most, and the shrunken crop means it's more flattering than a longer hemline—a flash of ankle breaks up the silhouette.

Shop Our Straight-Crop Jeans Pick:

Related: Embroidered Jeans: 13 Of the Most Divine Denim Creations

Skinny-Jean Alternative #5: Culottes


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Style Notes: For girls who usually wear tailoring, this is the answer. They also look so good with knee-high boots when the temperature dips.

Shop Our Denim Culottes Pick:


Skinny-Jean Alternative #6: Baggy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Style Notes: The most fashion-forward option of them all, the baggy, super-long jean is back en vogue and being worn with equally slouchy tops balanced out by heels. Comfy…

Shop Our Baggy-Jeans Pick;

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the editor in chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was hired to launch a UK sister site and social channels, localise content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 15 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times and, among many others.

Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy toddler and highly Instagrammable cat.